Office 365–It is more than Office!

2010 would be known as year of Office.  Microsoft released Office 2010 on June 15, 2010 and then a few months later, Mac users get Office for Mac 2011 on Oct 26, 2010.  Recently, Microsoft announced a new product, Office 365, the company’s next generation in cloud productivity suite.

What is Office 365?  It is a suite that bundles Microsoft Office Professional Plus, Office Web Apps, Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) which includes Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Office Live Meeting, and Office Communications Online, and Office Live Small Business which provides free web hosting and website.  Office 365 has a very long list of features.

And unlike most other Microsoft products; we don’t buy Office 365.  We pay a very small subscription monthly premium (as small as US$ 6).  We can subscribe 1 license or 1,000,000+ licenses; so Office 365 is for any business, from entrepreneur to global enterprises.

Office 365 has 3 different plans, namely Small Business, Enterprise and Education.  I am going to discuss more details about Small Business and Enterprise plans.

Office 365 for small business

The subscription monthly premium is US$6.  It includes:

  • Office Web Apps web productivity applications
  • Exchange Online for email, mobile access, calendar, contacts , anti-virus, anti-spam
  • SharePoint Online for team sites, Access services, and an easy-to-build public website
  • Lync Online for instant messaging and online meetings


  • Anywhere-access to email, important documents, contacts, and calendar on nearly any device, including PC, Mac, Windows Phone, iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry
  • Office Web Apps for viewing, editing and sharing documents
  • Large 25 GB mailboxes for each user and the ability to send attachments up to 25 MB
  • Easy-to-use design tools to build a professional-looking website quickly
  • Create sites to share documents securely with colleagues, customers and partners
  • Industry-leading, always-up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spam solutions
  • Integrated IM and presence, as well as online meetings with audio/video conferencing and multiparty data sharing
  • Financially-backed, guaranteed 99.9% service uptime
  • 24×7 moderated community-based support


    Office 365 for Enterprise

    The subscription monthly premium is US$24.  It includes:

  • Office Professional Plus desktop software
  • Office Web Apps web productivity applications
  • Exchange Online for email, mobile access, calendar, discovery, anti-virus, anti-spam, as well as advanced capabilities for voice mail, unified messaging, and compliance archiving
  • SharePoint Online for advanced portals for collaboration and advanced capabilities including Forms, Access, Visio & Excel services
  • Lync Online for IM and online meetings
  • On-premises licenses
  • Control and management features 


  • Large 25 GB mailboxes and the ability to send attachments up to 25 MB
  • Financially-backed, guaranteed 99.9% uptime Service Level Agreement
  • 24/7, IT-level support over the phone, the web or email
  • Single sign on capabilities with Active Directory deployment
  • Latest version of Office Professional Plus – connecting users to communication and collaboration services (with certain plans)
  • Office Web Apps for viewing, sharing and minor editing of documents directly from our browser (with certain plans)
  • Industry-leading, always-up-to-date antivirus and anti-spam solutions
  • Integrated IM and presence, as well as online meetings with audio and video conferencing and multiparty data sharing
  • Team sites to share documents, task lists, and schedules to keep workgroups in sync


With Office 365, we pay a monthly premium which covers the latest productivity suite (Office Professional Plus, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Lync Online), all future upgrades, and supports.  Microsoft’s enterprise grade infrastructure would make your IT security and business continuity / disaster recover plan much simpler.

It is also scalable; so if your office needs to expand tomorrow and has to hire 200 new employee.  Don’t worry, it can be done quickly.

What else?  I think the best way to find out its full potential for your office is try it out.  So don’t wait, sign up for beta today!

I am going to share my hand on experience on Office 365 with you, so stay tuned for my coming blogs.

Andrew Chan is the owner and founder of ALG Inc.

We help you to make better and faster decisions!

Collaboration Systems – from floppy disc to Microsoft Office Web Apps for SkyDrive

You probably know how old I am when I mentioned floppy disc in the title; because floppy disc was the only way that we could share information on an IBM PC 25 years ago.  Later, we had local area network (LAN); and when I prepared the business case for installing the first LAN in my company, the key benefits that I mentioned was collaboration.  We could share information securely!  How amazing! But the collaboration was still limited to a small group of people, typically within the same department.  Then email has become very popular and we could share information with our business partners, customers, suppliers… etc.  And yesterday, I read from the news that Microsoft launched Microsoft Office Web Apps for SkyDrive which would take collaboration to another level, i.e. multiple users can discuss and edit a particular document concurrently.  Why has collaboration been so important?  Virtually all major software vendors provided collaboration systems, e.g. Google, IBM, Microsoft and even Facebook.

Should my company use collaboration system?  I believe most of us are using them now, e.g. email, shared folders or instant message (IM).  The question is if you want to bring in a more effective collaboration system.  Before you answer this question, you may want to ask you a more fundamental question: what are the benefits of collaboration?

Frost & Sullivan published a whitepaper which was based on a survey of 946 decision makers in key positions.  Below is a summary of its finding:

  • Overall performance: Collaboration contributes 36% of overall business performance; twice the impact of a company’s strategic orientation.
  • Customer Satisfaction: Collaboration is the sole influencing factor; driving 41% of customer satisfaction.
  • Labour Productivity: Collaboration delivers 35% of labour productivity; 4 times higher than company’s strategic orientation.
  • Product: Collaboration is also the main driving force for product quality (34%) and product development (30%).
  • Innovation: 30% and it is 7.5 times higher than company’s strategic orientation.

You may wonder how collaboration could deliver such incredible effects, how can you achieve such results?  I believe there are 6 main areas that are positively influenced by collaboration:

  • Communication: It is quite obvious that improved collaboration means increased communication and hence better innovation.
  • Innovation: Once you have better innovation, then you would improve productivity and increase quality of your services / products.
  • Customer: If you deliver better services / products, then more customers would come to you.
  • Planning: Today’s collaboration system allows your and business partners to do planning more flexibly and effectively.
  • Control: Improved collaboration also give you better control on your business; you can have a better and timely picture on your financial, operational and sales performance.
  • Stronger team: You can collaborate with your team more effectively, no matter if they are in different offices, working styles. You can all stay connected.

Most current collaboration systems allow you to:

  • Reduce time and cost that are required to do a face to face meeting.
  • Building team and developing new client base that were used to be out of your geographical boundaries.
  • Provide more responsive services to your clients
  • Effective control your time

If you are still using email as main collaboration system, then you may miss a lot of opportunities, i.e. improve bottom line, reaching out to new clients and building a stronger team. What next? You should at least try Microsoft Office Web Apps for SkyDrive and Skype.  They are both free collaboration systems.  And if you are ready and looking for something much more powerful, then Microsoft SharePoint Online and Office 2010 would deliver features that you would not even imagine.

Andrew Chan is the owner and founder of ALG Inc.

We help you to make better and faster decisions!

Microsoft Releases Office Web Apps for SkyDrive

You can now create Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote documents on Windows Live SkyDrive.


It is my shortest blog so far! – Microsoft Office 2010 Web Apps and Facebook

Microsoft Office 2010 Web Apps is going to be everywhere.  It is first available to Windows Live users in SkyDrive, and now Facebook added a new feature Docs which would allow its users to create Microsoft Office 2010 documents, share them, edit them collaboratively and discover documents that are uploaded by their friends to their profiles. is in beta, so no everyone can create and upload documents initially. If you see the following message on the home page, you should add your name to the waiting list. Once you gain access to, you can create Word, Excel, PowerPoint documents, share them with your Facebook friends and even edit them collaboratively. I am going to show you how to create a new PowerPoint presentation. Create a new PowerPoint Presentation

  • Once you are in Facebook Docs apps, you can select to Add a Docs and choose PowerPoint Presentation.

  • You would be directed to, then you can:
    • Edit your document
    • Changed the file name from Untitled to Hello World
    • Choose who can view and edit this document
    • Copy the Docs Link and send it to your friends
    • Once you click Finish editing, the document would be saved.

Where else do you think you can find Microsoft Office 2010 Web Apps?

Andrew Chan is the owner and founder of ALG Inc.

Microsoft Office 2010 Web Apps and SkyDrive – Microsoft’s answer to Google Docs

 Microsoft Office 2010 Web Apps Technical Preview is available on Windows Live SkyDrive, a free, 25-gigabyte virtual hard drive on the Internet, accessible from any computer, e.g. Windows, Mac, or Linux at your office, at your home, at your friend’s house, so you don’t need to carry around a physical disk to transport files.  You can easily create, edit, and share your Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote documents.  All you need is a computer with a web browser (IE, Firefox or Safari) and an internet connection.

Create a new Office document

Edit an existing Office document

Share Office Documents

Office 2010 Web Apps is easy to use because it is the same Office tools that you are familiar with, in a Web environment.

Microsoft Office 2010 Web Apps will be officially launched in June, 2010, so why don’t you get ready and start using Windows Live SkyDrive now.  You can seamlessly integrate SkyDrive into your Windows environment as a network drive.  Does everyone in your office need a full Microsoft Office license?  Microsoft Office 2010 Web Apps may give you an opportunity to cut some IT budget.

If you have any further question, you can reach me at

Andrew Chan is the owner and founder of ALG Inc.



Knowledge is power!